iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #85 – Y: The Last Man

Show Notes

Vertigo’s series about a gender-cide, killing all the males on Earth, and the only man left standing, ran for 6 years, and is one of the greatest modern comic series available. Writer Brian K. Vaughan, and artist Pia Guerra created a vibrant series with fun, action, as well a heart. Available collected in 10 trade paperback volumes, and an upcoming hardcover version, this series will be talked about for years to come.

Josh, Ron and Conor discuss the series and what was so great about it, and why this series made Vaughan a star, and helped get him a job writing for ABC’s Lost.

Then, after the sponsor break, the guys talk about the ending, so if you haven’t had a chance to read it, watch out for spoilers. But if you did read the series, we dissect the much anticipated end to Yorick Brown’s story.


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  1. I love love love Y the Last Man. This and Preacher is what got me back into comics. Glad to see a show finally dedicated to it. Is there any Y memorabilia anywhere?

  2. Bang on. Bullseye. You guys took the words right out of my mouth. This has GOT to be one of the best books that has come out in a long time. I finished reading it this morning just in time for your show. Everything you said was absolutely true. It’s hard to find a book I love more than this.(…maybe preacher, but that can wait.)

    Great job guys.

  3. dangit – half that show was spoilers.  i was waiting all week, as i always do, to watch.  i’ve added vol.1 to my amazon wish list however!  i’ll catch the second half of the episode after i catch up on the reading!

  4. I had not ever really considered reading this title until today…now, I might have to go pick up volume one soon.

  5. Trying to avoid any spoilers but I wanna say: I am so glad I am not the only one who got choked up with the poison grape.

  6. This might be one of the greatest stories of all time. Josh was right, sure it’s sorta like a B movie sci-fi nonsense, but when you start reading it turns into so much more. So much great stories and stories that could have been if this could’ve been longer. Fantastic art that never dipped in quality even if someone came in for some issues. Also, it was funny, even for a depressing story Yorick definitely had good one-liners and slapstick humor to make this not too bleak.

    I love this story, I cannot wait for the film and this will be remembered for years to come. Having said all of this….I still dont get that confusing ending! Josh is also right, again, the reason for the men getting killed isnt much important…But man I’d wish I knew somewhat what happended cause I still dont know. Plus that last issue….so confusing, took me forever to get what Yorick did in this.

    Oh and no spoilers but: You will care for a monkey in this series!

  7. Y is my favorite comic… probably ever, but I usually don’t have favorites. I actually dressed up as Yorick for Halloween, even had a monkey on my shoulder. Not a lot of people knew who I was, but it worked out well because Halloween was on a wednesday, so the comic shop was able to appreciate it.

    I love this book so much.

  8. if you didn’t cry or at least get a little bit misty at the posion grape scene then you really aren’t human.

  9. I LOVE that you guys addressed the monkey scene in the last issue!  I was a mess when I first read that sequence

  10. I cried 3 times during the last trade. On a bloody packed train going to work for fuck sake!

  11. @s1lentslayer Re: memorabilia

    My mate gave me a zippo with "Fuck Communism" engraved on it. That’s now from both Preacher and Y!

    (I don’t smoke (well, not regularly) so it doesn’t get used)

  12. Awesome show! I’ve been waiting for this one a while now and (to quote the Joker) you didn’t disappoint.

    This is one of the very first books I picked up when I got back into comics, and also one of the very first I bought on iFanboy’s recommendation (the Vertigo show, I believe), and it is stunning from first to last.

    One of the best things in the series, despite a really well-told story, is the brilliance of the characterisation. I really like that Yorick’s actually kind of a dick; useless in a fight, always cracking terrible jokes in inappropriate situations. But everyone, from 355 to Hero gets a really interesting and involving arc through it. And yes, the grape scene messed me up. Big time.

    Good work guys! 🙂 

  13. @Josh – Can we get a link to your POTW review of issue 1.  I would love to read that.  (I will try digging around for it on the site.)

    Great episode.  I am currently trying to convince my wife to read this (she is really into Fables).  I may have to show her the first half of this episode to convince her. 

  14. It’s not on our site, but it’s archived on the wayback machine now.  Here it is.

  15. @Josh – Thanks.  You guys need to get these archived (for posterity).  I have been listening to some of the old podcasts recently (doing a lot of driving) and they provide a nice trip down memory lane.

  16. Josh = Lockjawsh (That’s pretty funny.)

    Ron = Old Chum? (I don’t get it.)  I would have gone with iRONy_is_lost_on_me. (Joking)

    Conor = The Dark Knight (Makes perfect sense.)

  17. Those are the usernames of the big three (trinity?) from "back in the day".

    Sorry for the triple post, needed to explain my double post.

  18. It’s fun listening to the old podcasts. Cause sometimes you get a good laugh when they’re predicting whether a new arc or series will be good.

    Like Y: The Last Man or Civil War: Frontlines….Man that was POTW material? I mean that issue was good, but boy how the mighty have fallen. Even listening to the pre-Secret Invasion stuff is pretty fun. The reaction of Black Bolt as a Skrull was pretty funny with Ron.

    Just think maybe in a couple of years they’ll talk about how crappy Spider-Man is compared to the future. Oh and quick question, should you guys do an episode on the whole Robert Kirkman fiasco? I mean there’s been three articles and so many comments. Just curious if you guys wanna talk about it up front.

  19. Re: Nudity and foul language in Y. Seems almost everytime something is big-time acclaimed it has beyond pg-13 content (Watchmen, Y). For personal reasons I mostly steer clear of that.

    Is it just me?

    Come to think of it I have found some "clean" comics that are incredibly sophisticated. Maus, Scott McCloud’s stuff, Mouse Guard, Troy Hickman’ stuff.

  20. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Y: The Last Man should be taught in schools.  

  21. @PaulMontgomery – I have actually been trying to convince my mother-in-law (High School English teacher) to use this for her AP class, but the administration keeps telling her no because of the nudity and language (they never mentioned the violence).  Gotta love that censorship in a public institution.

  22. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @stuclach – It sucks because the allusions and literary references, the sophistication of narrative, all outweighs whatever concerns one might raise about the vulgar material.  And even then, nothing is gratuitous.  

  23. @PaulMontgomery – I wholeheartedly agree and that is the arguement that she has given the administration, but we are talking about a High School in a rural portion of Western Kentucky (the High School I attended that has actually regressed over the last 10 years).  Talk about an immovable object.  She is currently considering using Fables.  That one seems less likely to connect to adolescents (in my opinion).  I know they would connect with Y.

  24. Maus was required reading for my American Lit class here at college last semester.

  25. I think Persepolis would be a good required reading comic that would click with teens.

  26. Thanks for the suggestions.  I will pass those along.

  27. @josh – I just read your POTW review for issue #1 and I must say that you nailed it from issue 1.  Pretty much everything you said in that review was dead on and applies to the rest of the series.  More generally, that was a well written, brief (in a good way) review.  Bravo!

    If any of the rest of you would like to read it simply look for Josh’s (or should I say LockJawsh’s) link above. 

  28. Not to be a wet blanket, but I don’t see how you could actually teach a ten-volume comics series in a classroom setting.  Books cost money (~$150.00 for this whole set), and I don’t think there’s a way to separate out a single trade of this and be fair to the story.  Maybe if you could get enough copies of issue 1, you could talk about the way it’s put together, and use that as a starting point for discussion about the issues the story raises.

    Actually, that would be pretty cool.  /thinking like an English teacher.

    About Y itself — I’ve been looking forward to this show, and it was really cool to see it.  By the time I heard of Y, it was only a few issues from the end.  So I waited until the last one was already out, then read all 60 issues in 3 or 4 sittings.  I honestly didn’t like it at all for the first twenty issues or so; I felt about Yorick a lot like Conor did, and I found some aspects of the world-building frustrating.  But I had heard so much praise that I stuck with it and I’m really glad that I did.  Partly, I think there were aspects of the book that only made sense when seen as part of the whole; mostly, though, I felt like I was really watching Vaughan grow as a writer over the course of the series, and that was exciting to watch.  

  29. Thinking about my own comment as soon as I posted, it occurred to me that a long-term effect of texts going digital might be to make comics more accessible to be taught in a classroom setting.  If, in a decade, all your textbooks are digital, getting a full run of Y into students’ hands might not be so expensive or daunting.  Food for thought.

  30. I think Comic Crack is an understatement, I read the First issue HERE and after that bought all the trades that were out and was like a Junkie looking for a fix waiting for the next trade. One thing i can say about this series is even that i always wanted more. I found that when it ended it was extremely satisfying.

  31. Y was my intro into non-superhero books. it’s that rare book where i honestly can’t understand someone not liking it… my brains just goes all "DOES NOT COMPUTE!"  and reboots.

    Plus as far as the teaching comics thread goes, they had a graphic novel course at my college, and i think Y would be a perfect addition to the curriculum. 


  32. So i just got this entire series. i LOVE it. it was so good and im disappointed it stopped but it was an amazing series!!

    i got my girlfriend into comics starting with this actually…huh thats actually pretty awesome

  33. So in the middle of the video, an onscreen ad for Entourage appears saying, "The Boys are Back."


    I thought that was pretty ironic.

  34. i honestly think i need some time and distance from finishing the last y trade before i can comment on it’s literary value.

     i like it a lot but occasionally i feel like i project the substance on the book. i need time to think about what’s on the actual pages

  35. VERTIGO IS DOING A TERRIBLE THING WITH COLLECTING THE SERIES IN HC FORMAT.  They are going to make each hardcover 10 issues long (6 books).  This BREAKS UP STORY ARCS, LIKELY TO GET MORE MONEY FROM AN EXTRA BOOK!  I cry Foul!  It should be 5 books with 2 story arcs per book.  A travesty.

  36. Or you could just buy the trades that already exist, as people have been doing, happily for years.

    It’s a business, and it’s their property.  You have every choice in the world not to buy it. 

  37. Ok I just had the time to finish all the trades and I have to ask…

    In 9:33 of the show…. what’s the image we’re looking at in the dark panel? I can’t tell with my bad eyes… I mean I speculated but I just want some kind of upfront answer.

  38. It’s from Volume 4: Safeword, where the dominatrix lady seems to be torturing Yorick.

  39. Thanks Josh.

    Oh and I just thought of something kind of interesting…

    Since DC owns Vertigo, it’d be interesting to see an elseworld’s tale on Y: the last man.
    I dunno, maybe replacing some character roles, like Yorick and have someone else be the survivor like… say Bruce Wayne? xD I’d buy that

  40. @Mangaman – if you add a monkey to anything, it will always work.

  41. I sold all 10 volumes of this series on Ebay after I read them all for like $60.00!!  I’m so mad at myself because I know that I’ll want to read them all again a few years down the damn road.  I guess I should get the hardcovers then, huh?

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